BZZZ!! BZZZ!! BZZZ!!!
a female figure was slowly awoken by the blaring noise of an alarm clock.
still groggy, the figure reached out and carefully shut the device off. silencing the sound.
she then rose up from the covers..revealing herself to be a light brown anthro rabbit with a robotic arm.
she arched out her back, and yawned real loudly. she then looked at the digital clock. her vision blurred at first, but eventually came into focus.
"Four Forty-Eight?" began Bunnie, who spoke in a 'southern draw' "GOODNESS, Ah' overslept!"
Bunnie got out of bed (revealing that she had robotic legs) and sprinted for the bathroom.
looking into the mirror..she gasped. "Landskakes, Ah'm a walkin' Disaster!!" Bunnie grabbed a can of hairspray, and sprayed some on her blonde hair bangs, as well as her long rabbit ears.
taking a brush in hand, she gently brushed her frizzy looking fur and hair, until it was all straight.
"ah..much better. Girl can't go out lookin' like the losin' side of a rodeo."
after several minutes or so, the Cyborg Rabbit left the bathroom, quickly got dressed and left the bedroom.
she walked down the upstairs walkway, until she reached a door that sported crude crayon drawings taped to it.
pausing for a moment..Bunnie gently tapped at the door with her bionic hand. when she got no response, she gently turned the knob and opened the door.
Inside was a room that could only belong to a child. and, nestled in bed, still fast asleep, was a little boy no more than six years of age.
though, the oddest thing about this child was that he wasn't a rabbit, or any other type of anthropomorphic animal.
he was a HUMAN child.
Bunnie quietly walked over to the sleeping boy. she stopped at his bed, taking a moment to look at him.
a smile formed on her furry face, and she gently drew out her only non-robotic hand and ran her fingers through his dark blonde hair.
"peter.." began Bunnie, speaking softly "wake up, baby..it's tah'me to get up."
Peter's blue eyes fluttered open. he yawned real wide, and stretched out his arms.
looking up, the boy saw the "rabbot" standing over him..and, smiled wide.
"MOMMY!!" exclaimed the child, sitting up and hugging Bunnie tightly.
Bunnie in turn embraced the child. "good mornin', sweetheart." Bunnie then parted from him. "Or, should ah' say: "Good Afternoon." It's past four, darlin."
"It IS?!" said Peter, surprised.
"Don't you worry yer' sweet lil' head none, baby. It's momma's fault you overslept."
"oh..Okay!" said Peter, who smiled happily. "Can I play at Cream's house, today?!"
"Sure, hon. Ah' actually need you ta' stay there anyways." said Bunnie "Momma's joints are gettin' "creaky", and Ah' need ta' git'em oiled out over at Roter's." Bunny emphasized this by flexing her bionic arm..which indeed made a squeaky sound as it moved.
"Okay, Mommy. I promise to be good while you're gone."
Bunnie smiled at the boy whom she loved as if he were her real son. "Ah' know you will be..you ALWAYS are."
Bunnie finally leaned down, and gave Peter a hug. "ah' love you, peter..So Much." said Bunnie, whose eyes were wetting.
"I love you too, mommy." said Peter, hugging Bunnie back. This affection only intensified the moisture in Bunnie's eyes.
she quickly wiped her tears away, and parted from Peter. "Well..git dressed, Ah'll phone Vanilla, and let her know ya'll be comin' over soon."
"Okay." said Peter, as he leapt out of bed. Bunnie smiled at him. then, finally turned and left the room.
As Bunnie walked slowly down the stairs..her mind began to wander.
("Six Years..") mused Bunnie in her head ("Has it really been that long? Six Years since that horrible war..Six Years since you gave yer' life to save mine. Six Years since..since th' promise Ah' made to you. to take care of yer' youngin', and raise him as if he were mah' own.")
Bunnie at last reached ground level. she froze in her steps, her shakey hand still clutching the railing.
she was staring off, a zoned out look in her eyes as she recounted the violent death of Peter's biological father.
as a tear fell down her cheek, darkening the fur. Bunnie mused yet again.
("Fer' Six Years ah've kept mah' promise to you..and, Ah' will continue to keep mah' promise until the day Ah' die.
Ah' love that boy..he may not be mine, or even mah' own kind, but he IS Mah' Son..an' Ah' am his Momma..")
Bunnie at last released the railing. she then looked up at the cealing..and, wondering if "HE" could see her from wherever he was.
"Are you proud of me?" asked Bunnie to open air "Have Ah' done'a good job raising yer' son?, being a good momma? PLEASE tell me Ah' have..Ah'm doin' mah' very best."
Bunnie's eyes wetted again. "please..tell me."
Bunnie was jolted from her brooding be a high voice. "MOMMY!!"
"GAH!!" Bunnie looked, and saw Peter skip along past her.
the human child then looked up at who he truly believed to be his mother. "I'm READY, Mommy!"
"Uhh..oh-Okay, darlin." began Bunnie, feeling rattled "j-just watch some cartoons, while Ah' go call Vanilla."
"Okay!" Peter then skipped off to the TV Room.
Bunnie exhaled, attempting to calm herself down. she then took one last look at Peter as he turned on the television, and watched Tiny Toon Adventures.
finally, she turned and walked into the kitchen..and, grabbed a phone. using the Speed Dial, she waited as the dial tone rang.
(("Hello!?")) said a pleasant voice
"Vanilla?, Hi..It's Bunnie, Bunnie D'Coolette."
(("Oh, HI, Bunnie! How are you doing today?!"))
Bunnie smiled. "Just fine Vanilla. Listen, Ah' hafta drop by Rotor's place for a 'tune-up', an' Ah' was hoping you could watch Peter fer' me while ah'm gone."
(("Of Course, Bunnie..You know how I feel about that darling boy of yours. and, my little Cream just ADORES him."))
Bunnie breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks Vanilla. Yer' a Lifesaver."
(("Hey, what are friends for!?"))
"I'll be by soon ta' drop him off. Bye."
(("Okay, See you then."))
With that, Bunnie hung up the phone. she then smiled as she walked into the living room.
"Okay, Peter. time ta' go."
"AW, MOM! The show just started!!"
"You can watch it at Cream's House."
"But I'll MISS IT!!"
"You've already seen this show hundreds of times. and, They're all reruns, ANYWAY!"
"Now, PETER. Don't you sass yer' Momma." said Bunnie sternly. "Ah' need to see Rotor, an' Ah' already told Vanilla that ah'd bring you right over. Ah' ain't gonna make 'em wait no thirty minutes."
Peter looked down. his cheeks red. "y-you're right..I'm sorry, mommy."
Bunnie smiled as she picked her son up, holding him in her arm. "Ah' know, sweetheart. Ah' know yer' a good boy..Ya' just sometimes forget that."
Bunnie then grabbed the remore control with her bionic arm, and switched the TV off. "Good thang Ah'm here to remind you of that, huh?" said Bunnie with a light chuckle.
Peter giggled as Bunnie carried him out the door. she put him down, and preceeded to lock the door.
"Come on, Mommy! LET'S GO!!" exclaimed Peter, who ran for the street.
"PETER!!" shouted Bunnie
Peter stopped right at the curb. he watched at the cyborg rabbit marched right up to him. "Now, WHAT have Ah' always taught you!?"
Peter took a moment to think. "Umm..Always say "Please" and "Thank You?"
Bunnie eyed the human child. "Funny..NOW, let's hear th' Right Answer."
Peter looked down at his feet, embarrassed. "um..L-Look both ways before crossing the street."
"and, NEVER cross th' street without a Grown Up you can Trust..Namely ME!" added Bunnie
"i'm sorry, mommy.." said Peter, timidly. "I was just..E-Excited."
Bunnie took Peter's hand, gripping is gently, but tightly. "Ah' know, Peter..but, you have ta' be more CAREFUL! What if a car came speeding by as you ran across the street?!, Do you know how much it'd hurt mommy to watch you get hurt?!..or, KILLED!??"
"Aw, Mom..No cars speed around HERE. That's in the Big City!"
Bunnie looked down at Peter sternly. "That doesn't mean It can't happen HERE. Accidents can happen ANYwhere."
Bunnie then knelt down to Peter's level, placing both her hands on Peter's sholders.
"Peter, PLEASE..just Promise Me you'll be more careful." Bunnie's eyes began to wet as she spoke. "Ah' love you, baby. an, if Anythang bad even happened to you..Ah' just don't know what Ah'd do."
Peter stared as his mother began to cry..which made HIM feel sad. "D-Don't cry, Mommy! I..I'm sorry!!, I promise I won't ever do It again!!"
Bunnie smiled through her tears..then, gave Peter a quick kiss. "Good boy. Now, let's go."
With that, Bunnie rose up, took Peter's hand and upon looking at the Left and Right sides of the street..began to cross it together.
Once they successfully reached the house on the other side of the street, Bunnie let go of Peter's hand and let him sprint over to the front porch.
she walked up to him, and smiled as the young child tried to reach the doorknocker that was clearly out of reach from his short legs and arms.
Bunnie then proceed to pick him up, and lift him high enough to reach it. "There..NOW try."
Bunnie put Peter down, and waited patiently. In no time at all, the door opened and Bunnie was greeted by a cream colored rabbit female with long 'floppy' ears.
"Hi, Vanilla." said Bunnie.
Vanilla smiled warmly. "Hello, neighbor." Vanilla then looked down at Peter. "and, Hello to you TOO, Peter." said the rabbit, as she bent down to Peter's level.
"Hi, Miss 'Nilla!!" exclaimed Peter, happy as a clam
Vanilla chuckled to herself. "My name is "VANILLA", dear."
"OKAY, Miss 'Nilla!"
Vanilla exhaled sharply, then rose back up. "oh, well..you'll learn."
"Ah'll try not to take Too Much of yer' time. Vanilla." said Bunnie
Vanilla smiled at Bunnie. "Take all the time you need. Cream just loves having him around."
Peter looked up at Vanilla. "Where is Cream!?"
"She's in her room with Cheese..Waiting for you."
"OKAY, I Love You, BUH-BYE!!" exclaimed Peter, and he ran into the house.
Vanilla and Bunnie looked at one another. "Again..Thank You for doing this." said Bunnie
"It's not a problem, Bunnie. You just get your errands done, and don't worry about Peter: You know I'll look after him as if he were my very own baby."
Bunnie frowned at Vanilla's words..as they mirror words that SHE said not so long ago.
"yeah.." said Bunnie, trying to hide her sadness. "that's..That's comforting to know. Bye."
Bunnie turned, and left. as she departed from the house and headed back to her own..ghosts from her past echoed in her head.
(("bunnie..PLEASE, I-I-I need you to do something for me.
P-Peter..my son, I..I want you to look after him.
PLEASE, Bunnie..do this..f-for me. t-t-take care of my child."))
Tears flowed from Bunnie's eyes as the painful memory flash before her eyes.
she finally wiped her tears away, and attempted to bury the memory in her mind as she always had.
but, the stinging pain in her heart STILL lingered.
Bunnie finally got into her minivan, started it up and drove off for Rotor's Lab at the outskirts of Emerald Town.
Bunnie was laying on an operatoring table as Rotor finished up with his tune-up.
"Okay..THERE. good as new." said the walrus, as he flipped his googles up "Just keep your joints well oiled, and you shouldn't have anymore problems."
"yeah..fine." said Bunnie, as she sat up.
Rotor eyed the "rabbot." "Is something wrong, Bunnie?"
Bunnie looked at her bionic hand as she flexed her robotic fingers. "no..nuthin's wrong."
Rotor gave Bunnie a look that told her that he wasn't convinced. "Come on, Bunnie..It's ME. We've known each other for a Long Time, and I know when something is bothering you..and, when your hiding it."
Bunnie just grumbled as she stared off.
"Is it about Peter?" began Rotor "Are things going okay with him??"
"he's FINE, ALRIGHT!!"
Rotor eyed Bunnie again. "But, YOU'RE not..and, it DOES have something to do with him, doesn't it?"
Bunnie exhaled sharply, hanging her head low. "yeah." said Bunnie, meekly
Rotor put his tools away in his satchel. he then hopped onto the table, and sat right next to Bunnie.
"So..what's wrong?" asked Rotor, again.
Bunnie shut her eyes tight, trying to hold in her tears. pulling her ears back stressfully, she began to speak.
"Peter keeps lookin' like his daddy ev'ry day..Sometimes when I look at his sweet face, I feel like "HE" is looking back at me."
"Oh..I see." said Rotor, figuring out what the problem was.
Bunnie then looked down, staring at her robotic feet. "Peter asked me about his real parents once..being a human, he's smart enough ta' figure Ah'm not his real momma." Bunnie then cried a little. "and..uh-Ah' said he's was an Orphan, that Ah' adopted him."
"But, that's the truth, isn't it?"
"Not the WHOLE Truth!!" snapped Bunnie, suddenly "He thinks Ah' either found him at Mah' doorstep like in some cheesy movie!, or that Ah' just went to an Orphanage, an adopted there..He doesn't know that Ah' held his daddy's hand when he died, and promised him that ah'd take care of his only son!!"
Rotor stared at Bunnie, feeling a little bit nervous from her outburst. "Well..W-Why haven't you, then?"
Bunnie lowered her head, tears flowing from her eyes. "Because..Ah' killed him. Ah'm responsible fer' his daddy's death..How can Ah' possibly tell him that?!"
"Now, HOLD ON THERE, Bunnie! You did NOT kill Conrad Hauser. He took a shot from one of those Super SWATbots meant for you, he SAVED you."
"Exactly, Rotor: HE saved me, and died BECAUSE of me!"
"oh, Bunnie.." said Rotor, getting slightly annoyed
"AH' WASN'T EVEN SUPPOSE TO BE THERE!!" shouted Bunnie, angry tears in her eyes
"Sally was th' one who wanted to see the G.U.N. Fortress. Ah' was only there to shut Geoffery up, and tag along as Sally Girl's "bodyguard."
an' when Station Square was attacked, AH' volunteered to accomapny the response team. Ah' didn't belong there, and Ah' KNEW IT, but Ah' went ANYWAY!!
Ah' stupidly let that SWATbot put me in it's sights, an' Duke was blown apart tryin' ta' save STUPID ME!!"
Bunnie finally buried her face in her hands, and cried hard.
"it's..all mah' fault (choke, sob) Peter's an orphan because of ME! ah'm responsible.."
"NO, Bunnie..you're not." said Rotor, sternly. placing his hand affectionately on Bunnie's shoulder.
"Whether you went with Sally that day or not wouldn't have mattered. during the Robotnik War, was made allies with the human resistance..and, we EACH visited the G.U.N. Fortress in our own time.
You went with that squad because you KNEW innocent people would have been killed if the SWATbots got through, and you wanted to do your part to protect them.
and, as for Duke, well..He was a soldier. he knew the risks. and, he showed true nobility is sacrificing himself to save someone he barely even knew."
"But NOTHING!, Listen Bunnie..What you are feeling is "Survivor Guilt", It's a common thing. You may think you are to blame, but your not..If you want to blame anyone for Duke's death, and Peter being an orphan, then Blame Robotnik, or Hugo Brass. THEY are the ones we were fighting.
But, don't blame yourself just because a good man died saving you."
Bunnie hung her head low, exhaling softly. Rotor then placed his hand on Bunnie's. "Bunnie..I think you should tell Peter the whole truth about his father. he deserves to know."
Bunnie looked at Rotor. "but, what if he hates me?! Ah' love that boy, Ah' don't want him hatin' me fer' the rest of his life!"
"Bunnie..Peter is NEVER going to hate you, he LOVES you. Why, don't you remember the time he got into a fight at school over one of the human students there calling you a "carrot eating vermin?!"
Bunnie chuckled half-heartedly at this. "yeah..Peter's eye was swollen for a week."
"EXACTLY! Peter adores you, Bunnie. and, if anything..You telling him the truth about his father will make him love you more."
Bunnie looked away. "How do ya' figure THAT?"
Rotor exhaled sharply. "Well..the way I see it is that Peter was a little orphan baby, and would have ended up alone in some orphanage had you not taken him in like you did.
You fed him, bathed him, clothed him. read him bedtime stories, and held him close when he was scared.
for six whole years he's had a loving mother in his life..which is alot more than he would have had if you'd never been there."
Bunnie took a moment to ponder on this. she HAD been there for Peter..from the very start of his life when he was "born" though his toddler years, to Now.
she couldn't remember a time Peter was angry, or upset. she ALWAYS tried to make him happy, and protect him from harm.
She loved Peter as if he were her own son..and, Peter often treated her the same way.
Bunnie then remembered one time when she felt sad over the anniversary of her parents deaths, and spent most of the day crying her eyes out.
then, Peter came along, and did whatever he could think of to get her to stop crying.
he gave her his favorite toy, hugged her tight and told her the same things She always said to him when he was upset.
Bunnie had never felt so touched. Peter's simple acts of compassion just melted her heart like an ice cube in the desert sun.
wiping a tear from her eye, Bunnie looked at Rotor. "ye-Yer' right, Rotor, Peter DOES love me. an', Ah've been such a fool to doubt him."
"Hey, don't worry: It happens."
Bunnie then got up off the operating table. "Ah'm gonna tell him the truth TONIGHT. an' even if he does get upset..Ah'll be there fer' him, jus' as ah've Always Have."
Rotor smiled. "There you go, Bunnie."
Bunnie smiled weakly..but, then frowned again. "Still..Ah' really do feel bad about Duke. an' Ah' don't think ah'll EVER get over his death."
Rotor looked at Bunnie. "Well..he DID have other friends, like that "Roadblock" guy. Maybe you can try talking to him, or somebody else."
"Ah'll keep that in mind. But, fer' now..Ah'd better get back to Vanilla's house, and check up on Peter."
"Okay. See you around."
"Sure thang, Sugar."
with that, Bunnie turned and walked away.
as she exited the lab, and headed for her van, however..a tall, dark figure watched her from the shadows.